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Nothing secret, just not really announced yet, which I guess makes it secret ... The next project will be a Black Diamond amplifier, based on this design:

 

http://diy.ecpaudio.com/2012/11/black-diamond-headphone-amplifier-part-1.html

http://diy.ecpaudio.com/2013/02/black-diamond-headphone-amplifier-part-2.html

 

I have a final prototype mostly assembled sitting on the bench right now. I am awaiting delivery on the custom step up transformers which I am hopeful will arrive in the next week or two. Once they are here and I can verify that everything works as intended, I'll just need to have the various pieces machined, finished, and shipped to me. That process can take a surprisingly long time, but I am hopeful to have amps ready in late February/early March.

 

As before, I'll do a small run of them, and when they sell out, I'll move on to something else. Not sure what that will be, yet.

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Thanks for the heads up.  Hopefully, by starting this thread, we sparked some interest in the Black Diamond.  I've read some comments about it on other forums and it looks really promising.

Edited by jimmyb233

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I can testify to the Black Diamond's excellent sound.  I blew it in the last Atlanta meet, probably because I was trying to feed the DAC that Doug built off of the same crappy Acer Netbooks that I use for meets.  Bad move.  Anyway, I had the privilege to listen to it at home for a week or two - simply outstanding.

Edited by TomB
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Any word on the release date of the BD?

 

I'm interested in knowing as well, along with an estimated price if it's available.

 

Would this amp be considered a step up from the DSHA-1 and L-2?

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Any word on the release date of the BD?

 

Soon. I have been super busy which has unfortunately pushed this a bit later than I had hoped. But things should calm down this coming week and allow me to push this project forward.

 

I'm interested in the dac, is doug doing something fancy with I/V transformers?

 

It is actually a differential common base IV with output transformers eliminating the need for coupling caps.

 

I'm interested in knowing as well, along with an estimated price if it's available.

 

Would this amp be considered a step up from the DSHA-1 and L-2?

 

Price will be lower than the DSHA-1 or L-2's original prices. I'd call it a step sideways. Different, but not better or worse.

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Amp = exciting

 

More talk about DAC = much more exciting.

 

Your public demands you.

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I agree, the DAC sounds pretty interesting. What chips do you have in your prototype? 

 

I wish there was more DAC talk here, maybe I wouldn't have dropped on the spectral and I'd be thousands of dollars richer

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PnDSHA-1

 

P stands for prototype

n is which prototype it is by number.

 

So if yours is the second prototype, it's P2DSHA-1.

 

How's that? :)

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I think we called it the DSHA-0. It's a pretty neat piece in that it has 5 (?) inputs + both preamp and headphone outputs.

 

I agree, the DAC sounds pretty interesting. What chips do you have in your prototype? 

 

Most protos have used the PCM1794. It is nice to work with as it is easy to use and sounds good. For the next revision, I am looking at the DSD1794. Basically the same chip but with DSD capability.

 

The upside is that it adds DSD functionality which the kids seem to think is important these days. The downside is that it requires a little bit of firmware programming and finding a good USB to I2S/DSD converter. This isn't that hard, but it is another step to do.

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nice choice of dac, certainly sounds solid. you can always license the audiophilleo, but I have no idea how much that costs

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Doug isn't the licensing type, I suspect.  Why trust someone else to do it for you when you can do it better yourself?

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Yeah I wouldn't know, but I use both the audiophilleo and legato (streamlength) and they are very well implemented. Gordon Rankin seems to consider it a tricky thing to deal with, but from looking over ECP products I don't doubt Doug can put in the work.

 

You could also opt for for a nice spdif input section, blah blah blah

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In this case I am. Actually, in this case, I am a pick up an off the shelf thing that works type. I really think that the I/V and output stage make a lot more of a difference than digital format or jitter, so coupling someone else's digital solution to my analog is the approach here.

 

Do people even buy spdif input dacs anymore? Would certainly be easier, and more future proof.

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As a rule, they do not.  I've been wrong before, though (see three posts up.)

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Oops I accidentally bought a Black Diamond.  I was reading up on the L-2 and DSHA-1 and saw that Brigir bought an L-2 "by accident."  First Spritzer, now me, WTF?  This could definitely become a problem with the ECP Audio products.  Hopefully this post alerts enough people so we can address and fix this problem.

Edited by jimmyb233
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This shit happens to me all the time.  I keep getting notices from customs about some packages that I don't have a clue about.  :-[

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